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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Sad U.S. Covid19 fatality milestone

Per Johns Hopkins, 200,284 as I post this.
President Trump repeats his self-awarded grade of an "A+" response.

Sometime this week, alone on a hospital bed, an American died. The coronavirus had invaded her lungs, soaking them in fluid and blocking the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide that makes up our every breath. Her immune system’s struggle to fight back might have sparked an overreaction called a cytokine storm, which shreds even healthy tissue. The doctors tried everything, but they couldn’t save her, and she became the 200,000th American taken by COVID-19—at least according to official counts.

In reality, the COVID-19 death toll probably passed 200,000 some time ago. And yet “the photos of body bags have not had the same effect in the pandemic” as after other mass-casualty events such as Hurricane Katrina, says Lori Peek, a sociologist at the University of Colorado Boulder who studies disasters. “Is our national empathy—our care and love and concern for one another—at such a low level that we are not truly feeling, in our bones, in our hearts, and in our souls, the magnitude of the loss?”…

"At 74 years old, President Donald Trump falls smack in the COVID-19-death demographic. Yet he has also minimized the threat of the virus repeatedly."

Good article (click the linked title image). Notwithstanding one small semantic pick: "Empathy" is not a synonym for "sympathy." A closer term would have been "compassion" (and, yes, I know there is some implicit overlap). Donald Trump has very high "cognitive empathy"—in the Time Share Closer sense. He knows how to read the gullible so as to "get over" on them. But, "compassion?"

BTW: Let's stipulate, in fairness, that perhaps ~20,000 U.S. Covid19 deaths were unavoidable even given actual "A+" comprehensive and sustained public health / clinical countermeasures from early on. The excess fatalities tally remains egregious. We comprise 4.3% of world population, and more than 20% of global Covid19 deaths. There is no rationally explaining away that discrepancy.

Think back through the pandemic. Think about the moments that stand out as beacons in the haze — signposts of how it would change all of our lives.

Not all of these moments were clear at the time. China’s decision to shut down cities of millions of people in January was staggering, but to most Americans, this new coronavirus remained an ocean away, not something that would demand our own version of a lockdown.

Other moments form pits in our stomachs when we look back. Perhaps, for you, it’s when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention touted it was developing its own test for SARS-CoV-2 instead of relying on international designs. Or when leaders in New York delayed containment plans as cases built. Or when President Trump embraced the unproven and ultimately fruitless hydroxychloroquine as a miracle drug…

Again, click the title image. Fairly long read. Worth your time.

My back-of-the-envelope rough estimate at this point is roughly between 270,000 and 300,000 U.S. Covid19 deaths by the end of 2020.


Well, now that her credibility is totally tanked. Maybe Ivanka will replace her.
More to come...

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